Given the hype over PWAs, are there real advantages compared to native apps?

How does this as a single platform change the experience?


3 Answers 3


PWA = Progressive Web Apps

It may be defined as Radically improving web user experience

Just to simplify it - It's the experience of native app which you provide to the user.

Why Progressive Apps?

Case 1 : Users nowadays doesn't want to install app every time when they have to get their work done,User doesn't have to wait to download app from a app store then use it. Instead web apps provide same experience on the mobile browser to complete user's task. - No more waiting

Case 2 : In the world of millions apps and 30+ apps already on users phone with an average of 10+ app updates daily it really becomes hard for user to update apps every time there is new version launched, Whereas web apps makes it simpler for user. Ease of use

Case 3 : Data bandwith, User who is on mobile with a mobile data and with limited bandwith(2g) or a user from remote area cannot really cannot download app and cannot actually use app with low speed, Whereas in browser with PWA it becomes easier for user and makes the experience delightful.

Why does companies have both ?

As PWA is a latest trend the companies which had websites(old) and apps are currently moving towards PWA with a Iterative process**(checklist)** instead of building whole web app with all the features at one shot.

Look, Feel & aesthetics

PWA is a inspiration of native app, where the same experience is provided for a user in browser same as a native app.

Here are some links which will be helpful







  • 1
    I disagree (it could just be a personal preference). I don't like PWA's in the slightest. The only pro with a PWA is the platform independence, even then, the things that Chrome supports is different from Firefox and don't even get me started on Safari/Opera. PWA's are always less fluent, less user-friendly, lack performance & features and the cookie management makes it a pain for both the user and the developer. I'll take an app over a PWA any day because the opening+login time on PWA is almost equal to installation+SSO time on an app Jun 9, 2017 at 6:53
  • one main concern is low bandwidth area and less FTP it is really hectic to download apps for each separate activities and sometime when it's just one time activity. Currently apple's safari and other browser isn't supporting but eventually they shoud actually.
    – Harshith
    Jun 9, 2017 at 6:59
  • 1
    Agreed on the low bandwidth thing but that is limited to one-time users. Regular users will always benefit from a native app because they wouldn't have to load the complete environment in low bandwidth. Also, browsers are moving away from standardization. Each browser is slowly becoming an OS on its own leading to different approach of usage. Jun 9, 2017 at 7:18
  • I agree that in case of returning user (regular users) this will not be a good experience. It depends on what type of product are we building. Ex: Flipkart - There are users who aren't regular shoppers , this users just shops twice or once in a month , for this users native app really does't help with all those notifications popping up whole day would ideally spoil the experience.(less than 10% users shop regularly on flipkart) . What we should ideally learn from this is we should not just focus on app we should also give same experience on web for other customer also.
    – Harshith
    Jun 9, 2017 at 8:38
  • 1) I call BS. Its a one-time install, and even moving to a new device, the norm seems to be the app store auto downloads what you had on your last device. 2) This is even bigger BS. Apps auto update; you don't need to do anything to cause it. 3) The PWA still has to download the code an images, and b/c its based on HTTP, each call adds overhead. Its probably more efficient to download a single large binary than lots of little / medium sized files. Plus there may be UI elements downloaded for EVERY page transition until the user has visited every part of it.
    – Andy
    Jan 24, 2018 at 1:36

This is very broad for SE, but I'll attempt a succinct response since I love the PWA movement …


The reason PWA is the hotness right now is the impressive promises.

  • Minimal platform differences: lower engineering expense, greater experience consistency.
  • Users don't need to "install": lower barrier to adoption.
  • No performance loss: this remains to be completely proven out, but it looks good.

The cons … 🤔
Apple doesn't like it?


The way you've framed the question makes it harder for me to give my answer so I will pretend I just read the PWA v/s Native app part.

PWA - The best and the only advantage I feel it has is the platform independence. Open any web app (especially on your phone); Outlook, Gmail, even the SE sites and you will immediately notice the lack of performance, lack of fluency, lack of features and there's a general air of uncertainty about the experience.

Native App - Yes, you have to install it on your phone but unless you're using it for just once, you'd prefer having it on your device for quick access. App sizes have reduced drastically due to capable APIs and native apps (mostly) have a better UX.

Time and effort - PWA

  • Open a web-browser
  • Type in the URL or visit Google (then click on the link)
  • Login isn't usually the first page so click on that
  • Enter your credentials and click on Login
  • Wait for the API to load
  • Now you can use it.

Time and effort - Native App

  • Open the app store (just once)
  • Search and download the app (just once)
  • Open and login (usually is a single sign-on so again, just once)
  • Use

Like I mentioned in my comment earlier, this might be a personal preference but I have hardly seen a regular user prefer PWA to a native app

  • I agree with the effort to open and log in every time in case of a progressive web app. Some of the features are not supported by ios.
    – NB4
    Jun 9, 2017 at 7:18
  • And on the desktop they just remove the URL bar and share buttons etc. Apr 8, 2023 at 3:34

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